Pismo Preserve Update: Phased Opening Announced by Land Conservancy


We know, we know – us too. We all can’t wait to come out to see the new Pismo Preserve.

While we thought the opening would be this fall (late fall 2016) – we are all going to have to wait a little bit longer (now scheduled for late 2018).

“Many exciting milestones have been reached, but the preserve is not yet ready for full and open public use,” Kaila Dettman, the conservancy’s executive director said.

We are promised (and we trust) it will be well worth the wait. When it finally does open, the Pismo Preserve is expected to be one of the Central Coast’s most spectacular and most utilized recreational areas ever.

Why the delay?

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County has reported unanticipated planning code and environmental requirements in the construction process which will ultimately make the 900 acre park safe and ready for the public’s heavy use of the park. These additions include sidewalks, a retaining wall in the preserve’s main parking lot and restrooms off Mattie Road in Pismo Beach. A mile-long handicapped-accessible trail also is planned, which will allow this Pismo Beach treasure to be used by everyone who wants to delight in it.

“While the Land Conservancy would love to open the preserve, we have an obligation to all stakeholders to do this right, and we will not proceed with a project that does not meet all the needs of the community, the needs of the land and the requirements of environmental law,” said Dettman.

In the interim, Pismo Preserve lovers, do not despair. We are being gifted with sneak previews to accompany our healthy anticipation of the official grand opening with full recreational access, currently pushed to late 2018.

“The public will have opportunities to get out on the preserve,” said Jim Patterson of Atascadero, a conservancy board member and former county supervisor. “We just can’t open completely until some additional construction issues get taken care of.”

Since the grand opening is happening later than expected, The Land Conservancy is making plans to open the property for recreational access in phases. The Land Conservancy, in conjunction with agency partners, is coordinating the following:

1. Docent Led Hikes

The conservancy plans to give the public limited, pre-scheduled, docent-led tours of the preserve as well as guided hikes and equestrian and mountain bike rides. This access should be available by the end of this year.

2. Special ‘Preview’ Open Days

Starting as early as spring 2017, the land conservancy is planning to open the Pismo Preserve for occasional ‘open days’ where visitors will be able to register at the entrance, explore the Preserve and sign themselves out.

“We recognize that our community is anxious to explore and experience the property. In an effort to give people opportunities to enjoy the Preserve during the construction phase, we are working with our agency partners to allow structured access while we push forward to construct the park amenities,” Dettman said.

Plenty of other Pismo Beach Trails

While patience will be required until the Preserve officially opens, Pismo Beach offers a myriad of other trails to satiate your craving for beautiful Central Coast recreation. Check out any of the hundreds of miles of local trails to explore on foot, horseback or bike.

And, when you’re ready to rest your weary feet at the end of the trail, book a Pismo Beach getaway at the SeaCrest. Paradise awaits you in Pismo Beach.

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